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I’ve shared my journey with Parkinson’s Disease from diagnosis to involvement as an advocate to raise awareness of a disease that is here to stay until we come together and get rid of it once and for all and to educate the public about the devastating effects that it has on our family of people living with Parkinson’s Disease in all areas of the world.

I have failed to mention one part of the journey that still breaks my heart when I think about it but writing has allowed me to look back and know that some of the most difficult things that we have to go through make us stronger and more resolved to do our part to make this world a better place.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease on Wednesday, February 21, 2007, by my local neurologist. At that time, he recommended a second opinion and we decided to make arrangements to see a movement disorders specialist in Houston. I began the process of sharing my diagnosis with my eight siblings, adult nephews and nieces, in laws and friends at work. As easy as this was because of the aforementioned weight having been lifted off of my shoulders, I still had one person to tell, which for me, was the toughest thing I have ever had to do.

I remember finally deciding that I would not be able to tell them in person because I could not imagine seeing their reaction to my diagnosis. It took two weeks of picking up the phone, starting to dial and then placing the phone back on the receiver. I wasn’t ready. It was two weeks to the day after diagnosis that I decided to step into the bedroom, close the door, pick up the phone, sit on the bed, and dial the number.

“Dad, I have something that I need to tell you. I’ve been to see a neurologist and he thinks I have Parkinson’s Disease”. His response, not in the calmest of voices, was, “Does he think you have it or does he know for sure?” I went on to tell him that he had prescribed some pills that had helped relieve some of the symptoms but that he wanted me to get a second opinion. We visited about what I had been experiencing for a few years, which I had kept to myself, because I didn’t think anyone needed to be bothered with what I had been dealing with for so long. What he said next is what broke my heart and is still hard to think of today. He said that because of his age, he should be the one having this disease, and not his baby. You see, he has always introduced me as his baby (I’m the youngest of five boys, with three older sisters and a younger sister). I’ve never been embarassed in any way by this because if you were to see the pride that shows on his face when he says this, you would experience the love that he has always had for all nine of us. My mom, whom passed away in 1999, was the same way. Even through all the trials and tribulations that occur in a big family, she never gave up on us and loved us without end.

Moving forward, my dad has been my prayer warrior, biggest supporter on my journey with PD, and a pretty effective advocate for PD awarenes in his own right. I will never be able to thank him enough for his steadfast support and unwavering love. He prays for me and the rest of us that travel the PD journey every day. I know this because he has told me so.

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3 thoughts on “The Most Difficult Call Ever

  1. Israel my mom says the same thing. I know it comes from a loving heart, yet it doesnt make this journey easier. She is also my “prayer warrior” yet it’s my dad (who passed away of liver cancer in 2006) who directs and watches over me and messages me through dreams. I have amazing dreams…and I have learned to use them to become stronger to fight this disease on a daily basis, to keep fighting for a high quality of life, and to make good choices. Do you ever hear from your mom via dreamwork?

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  2. God Bless your Dad, Prayer Warriors are our best friends, Im lucky to have good Christian friends who have brought me through some very dark and scarey operations, Hugh brain surgery 4 yrs ago tumor and anyeurism which were going to kill me sooner or later, we decided to go ahead with the surgery I was given a 20% chance of living or come out a total vegetable. I remember going up to the operating theatre and looking around I asked why so many people in here, I counted at least 9 a nurse said we are all here to take care of you and each of us does one job only, wow.

    They said to me are you ready to go to sleep now? I said no, so I closed my eyes and prayed out loud.

    I was put into an induced coma after the surgery, and woke up 2 days later after the brain swelling was ” safe ” I was in Intensive care I remember waking and looking around, I spotted a male nurse and got his attention, he looked me in the eyes and I asked if I could have a drink of water I was so thirsty, he smiled and said Kim you are talking I said yes and Im moving as well as I lifted both arms and wriggled my legs, he held my hand and said you are a miracle, we didnt expect you to fully recover, I replied God did the miracle the power of Prayer is awesome.

    I walked out of the hospital 11 days later looking like Frankensteins monster, the looks some people had on their faces was classic.
    I was alive and had all my faculties in tact.

    So you think Parkinsons is going to put me down I say NO WAY šŸ™‚

    The tumor was benign and anyeurism was clipped I have lots of clips and plates in my head but hair grows back and hides it all.

    I belong to the Salvation Army Church, when I finally got back home my dear friends Captains Scott and Natalie Norman picked me up and took me to Church, I remember sitting there Natalie was doing the service that morning and I was sitting next to Scott, we had our prayer time and I felt Jesus but his arms around me, I have never felt anything so beautiful in my life and I sobbed and sobbed and felt so blessed.

    We all have guardian Angels around us, my life was saved for a purpose, and I will be around to see my beautiful Daughter Ashley-Emma marry and have my grandchildren.

    Thankyou Lord for my miracle.

    God Bless.

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  3. P.S I thank God everyday for my beautiful daughter she has become my full time carer and shes 17, she will be 18 in December, shes my Angel.

    When she looks worried about me I say I will die a very very old lady warm and happy in my bed xx

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